STACHYS ARVENSIS, STAGGERWEED, POISONING IN SHEEP
 
Description    Sheep in Australia and New Zealand developed a locomotory disorder following ingestion of STACHYS ARVENSIS, or staggerweed. The disease has been reproduced and seeds appear to be the most toxic portion of the plant. Young animals are more susceptible than adults and lambs can be affected through ingestion of milk from ewes grazing the plant. There is a mild degenerative myelopathy and peripheral neuropathy; slow recovery followed removal from the plant.
 
Species   Ovine
 
Signs   Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, Ataxia, Dysmetria, Exercise intolerance, Inability to stand, Paraparesis, Reluctant to move, Trembling, Tremor, Underweight, poor condition, thin, emaciated, unthriftiness, ill thrift, Weight loss
 
References   Finnie J. Neurological diseases of ruminant livestock in Australia. II: toxic disorders and nutritional deficiencies. Aust Vet J 2011;89:247 [Web Reference]
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